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Wednesday, 3 September 2014

A Hidden Gem

Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa - A Shangri La Hotel

Mountain View
As I traveled to the Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa in Muscat, I noticed just how mountainous the country was. The rocky terrain was surprisingly developed with telecoms and electrical cables which seemed somewhat unexpected because of the enormity and vast formations of the mountains. 
I naively expected it to be like the hills of the Caribbean where the lush green hills usually meant the absence of electricity and telecoms.  As I sped along the road, I noticed there was also a lot of construction activity.

The Shangri La hotel is beautiful and its decor reflects the culture of Oman. I was impressed by the grandeur of the hotel reception. I was equally engrossed by the sight of the Omani men in their Dishdashas (long white robes) and their pin boxed hats the Komah. This combined with their welcoming smiles and polite greetings of welcome in English was quite fascinating. 

Fortunately, most of the hotel staff speak English well as my Arabic is non existent. I must change that. I usually like to at least be able to greet people in their mother tongue, but Arabic well the written word looked like a puzzle and so I decided I would have to learn a few words off by art. 

The room was huge and tastefully decorated. I especially loved the Loccitane products with the bath feature which meant  I could lay in the bath and look out across to the ocean. And for privacy I could close the screen...but I never did! It was aSo relaxing to just sip a cool drink and see the outside vistas.

The resort extends into three properties the Al Waha, Al Husn and Al Bandar each providing excellent amenities for families and couples.

Some Useful Tips

  • Visa - You will need 5 Omani Rials for a visa upon arrival into Oman for stays of 10 days (£8.25). You can also pay by credit card
  • Language - Arabic and English  are the languages, with English widely spoken in resorts
  • Bring plenty of wet wipes as you will need them to help cool down
  • The dress code outside of a resort will mean covering shoulders and wearing clothing, covering the cleavage and long enough to cover the knees. For men they are expected to wear shirts with sleeves
  •  Cotton clothing and those with natural fibres will provide the best comfort
  • Driving is on the right so if you plan to drive, then be prepared for speeders 

Resort Highlights 

There are three resorts in one here at The  Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa - A Shangri La Hotel. Each with its own distinctive character and appeal offers five star facilities and an exceptional service. It is a perfect retreat for couples who want relax and lap up the sunshine with plenty of pools and water-sports such as diving and snorkeling to cool off in.

Al Waha - The Oasis is the perfect family location
With 262 rooms, 40 of these are Family rooms with interconnecting doors to ensure safety and but also enabling parents some privacy.


Al Banda - The Town is at the heart of the resort
198 deluxe rooms is ideal for the business and leisure traveler alike with the business district only 15 minutes away.

Al Husn - The Castle for the most discerning guests
180 elegantly designed rooms offering the most luxurious rooms and suites. 

Special features
  • Sauna jacuzzi, & steam room
  • Sports centre, tennis courts, mini golf and various watersports
  • Excursions
  •  PADI dive Centre
  • CHI spa with 12 treatment villas 
  • Cool zone kids club, GameZ entertainment centre and splash pad and aquatic play area.

  • Health Club with Private gym open 24hrs
  •  Omani Heritage Village with traditional shops
  • Art Gallery Library & hospitality Lounge
  • Choice of 21 dining options to suit budgets and tastes
  • Complimentary mini-fridge in every room
My stay at the Shangri La was perfect and is definitely one of my favourite because of the hospitality I received and secondly because of the amazing extra attention to detail. Loved the L'Occitane bath products and their amazing bathroom design!

June 2014 Stay in Oman